Workers Vanguard No. 862

20 January 2006


Honor Lenin, Luxemburg, Liebknecht!

(Quote of the Week)

January 15 marks the anniversary of the murder of heroic revolutionary Marxists Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg, victims of the repression organized by the German Social Democratic government that crushed the January 1919 Spartakist uprising. The International Communist League has revived the Communist tradition of honoring the “Three L’s”—Liebknecht, Luxemburg and Russian Bolshevik leader V.I. Lenin, who died in January 1924. In printing Luxemburg’s denunciation of the fraud of disarmament under capitalism, we reaffirm that the road to smashing the imperialist system of war, poverty and oppression lies in proletarian socialist revolution.

The friends of peace in bourgeois circles believe that world peace and disarmament can be realized within the framework of the present social order, whereas we who base ourselves on the materialist conception of history and on scientific socialism, are convinced that militarism can be abolished only with the destruction of the capitalist state....

Thus would be clearly explained what constitutes the kernel of the social-democratic conception: that militarism in both its forms—as war and as armed peace—is a legitimate child, a logical result of capitalism, and that whoever honestly desires world peace and freedom from the tremendous burden of armaments must strive for socialism....

For the international antagonisms of the capitalist state are but complements of class antagonisms and world-political anarchy, but the reverse side of the anarchic system of capitalist production. Both grow together and must be overcome together. “A little order and peace” is, therefore, just as impossible, just as much a petty-bourgeois utopia, with regard to world politics as it is with regard to the capitalist world market, with regard to the limitation of armaments as it is with regard to the restriction of crises.

—Rosa Luxemburg, “The Road to Peace” (1911),
printed in Young Socialist (October 1958)